Book Review – Weekend Entrepreneur

There’s much to be said about working for yourself. Being self-employed has plenty of advantages, from having more control over your time and efforts to potentially earning much more than possible if you work for someone else. It’s certainly a nice thought, but how do you get started working for yourself?

Weekend Entrepreneurseeks to help you in that respect. Coming from the publishers of Entrepreneurmagazine, it attempts to help give you plenty of ideas of how to get started as an entrepreneur yourself, working in your spare time to build up your wealth and possibly create a whole new job. Does it meet its goals and help you create an entrepreneurial lifestyle of your own? Let’s read on and find out!

Summary

The books starts with a Foreword by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who shares her own experiences working part-time knitting and working on the radio when she first had her son. The Preface shares the authors’ desire to encourage entrepreneurs and help more of them to succeed as they start their own business.

The book proper opens with Part I, on getting started with your own business. Chapter one shares the concept of becoming a weekend entrepreneur and provides a few reasons why the reader should consider that route, from the need for extra money to having time on your hands and nothing to do. The second chapter covers the need to test your market, finding out whether your idea has potential and figuring out if it is possible to sell your product or service efficiently.

After the relatively short first part, Part II, the bulk of the book, shares numerous ideas for potential weekend entrepreneurs. The third chapter, called ‘Pick It Up’, covers physically intensive options, giving a total of thirty-one ideas that range from car detailing and custom gardening to manure salesmen and dog doo scoopers (which the authors do have some, uh, ‘fresh’ comments about).  Chapter four, ‘Make It Up’, continues the list of ideas, this time featuring thirty suggestions of ways to sell products you (or someone else) has made. The list includes such varied ideas as homemade beeswax candles, decorative car magnets, and women’s loungewear.

The fifth chapter gets into familiar territory, covering twenty-five online businesses, from virtual assistant to publishing eBooks to affiliate marketing to eBay auctioneer. Chapter six, entitled ‘Sign ‘Em Up’, provides examples of ways to profit by sharing your knowledge. From household repair skills to sewing to etiquette to cooking, if you know more than most people about a subject and can find a means to share that information, you should be able to profit from it. Chapter seven finishes off this part of the book by encouraging readers to stay fast and flexible while they run their businesses, sharing several stories to encourage such behavior.

Part III, the final portion of the book, ‘Success Strategies’, attempts to provide advice on how to get a business running and keep it running successfully. Chapter eight shares some strategies on building successful businesses, from using blogs to share information about your business to protecting your ideas with patents and licenses. The ninth and last chapter of the book provides advice on how to spread the word about your business, discussing television publicity, and coupons, and how to put each one (or all three) into practice. The end of the book includes an appendix with dozens of resources (mostly online) to aid in your entrepreneurial endeavor.

Pros

Weekend Entrepreneur provides plenty of good ideas for possible side jobs. The tone is encouraging and there is discussion of a few issues that might not occur to many would-be entrepreneurs. The list of resources at the end of the book, in particular, provides numerous sources for further information.

Cons

With so many potential jobs being covered (over 101), there’s not much detail provided about any given one. There’s also not much in the way of advice on how to actually get a business started, once you’ve settled on an idea for what you want to do. Advice on things like patents and other business issues is quite limited, and squeezed into the last few  short chapters.

Overall

Weekend Entrepreneurmakes a pretty good source of ideas for potential side work. You’ll need to rely on other sources (such as those in the long list of websites at the end of the book) to turn such ideas into an actual business, though, as there’s not much here besides a list of ideas. Still, if you’d like to start a side business and need some thoughts on what sort of business to choose, this book serves a pretty decent spark for that train of thought.

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